Every year at the Fantasia Festival, I try to find a great Chinese action film to watch. I look for something with amazing kung fu, maybe a period piece, as long as it has wild throwdowns. I never would have thought that I’d find what I was looking for in the German film Plan B.
You wouldn’t expect a German production to fit that bill, but Plan B is unexpected and a really fun watch. Its influences are clear: it draws from American ’80s movies in style, sound and, of course, cheesiness. The film unapologetically declares its love of the decade from the leather jackets referencing Michael Jackson and Marty McFly to the guitar solo and synth-heavy score. But that’s just half the story: the action pieces are inspired by Hong Kong martial arts films, which is a real treat. The fighting style and the camera work make the action pieces really fun to watch. The film’s protagonists are also actual movie stuntmen, which adds a lot to the movie that you otherwise wouldn’t find in a regular action movie, like martial arts experience and creativity in the stunt choreography. One of the actors, Can Aydin, is actually the stunt choreographer for this movie. The fact that the protagonists don’t need body doubles during these high-intensity scenes means you can really get engrossed in the action and impressed with the work that went into it.
Despite the choppy editing and sometimes brusque transitions, Plan B is a really great movie to watch if you’re looking for a fun throwback to a time when Sylvester Stallone was king and everything was neon pink. And if you end up enjoying it, you’re in luck: the director has already announced that they’re thinking about making Plan C!